The first time offender program in Virginia is a great chance for people who have been charged with a drug offense or domestic violence to avoid a conviction.  The first time offender program for people accused of drug offenses is sometimes called the 251 program because of the statute that describes the program is Va. Code 18.2-251.  Under this program, people who are charged with either felony or misdemeanor drug possession, and who have never been convicted of another drug offense can use the program.  You don’t just get off without any conditions, though.  Under the program, the accused pleads guilty or no contest and then has to perform community service, which varies depending on whether there is a misdemeanor (24 hours) or felony (100 hours).  Also, the person charged will have their driver’s license suspended for 6 months and have to undergo drug assessment and testing throughout the probationary period.  The judge will then dismiss the charges upon the successful completion of the program.  While this program is not for everybody, it can be a great choice for a new start.  Contact Gene Cox at if you have questions about this program.